tv Piers Morgan Live CNN July 1, 2013 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT
welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world, george zimmerman in his own words. and fallen heroes in arizona. two big stories that america's talking about this evening. in arizona, 19 brave firefighters lost their lives battling the yarnell fire. deadliest fires since 9/11. >> it's unbearable. i know for many of you. but it is unbearable also for me. >> i'll talk to jan brewer later, and one of the firefighter's best friends. george zimmerman describes what happened moments before trayvon martin's life ended. will the jury believe him?
>> we go straight to martin savidge with all the information from the george zimmerman trial. we heard everything coming straight out of george zimmerman's mouth, in what was almost realtime interviews. >> it was. yeah, it was a pretty fascinating day. we got to hear from an audio expert. we got to hear from george zimmerman himself. he never took the stand. >> for the first time, jurors hear george zimmerman's version, what happened the night trayvon martin died, in a tanked police interview. >> i was walking back through to where my car was, and he jumped out from the bushes. and he said what the [ bleep ] is your problem? he just started punching me in the face. and i started screaming for help. i couldn't see, i couldn't breathe. i thought he was going for my firearm. i grabbed it immediately, as he banged my head again, i pulled
out my firearm and shot him. >> another dramatic moment, dora singleton's testimony when he learned martin was dead. >> he said, he's dead? and i said, i thought you knew that. i thought you knew he was dead. and he kind of swung his head and just shook it. >> the lead investigator takes the stand and seems to tell the defense exactly what they want to hear. >> did you notice anything to bring to the jury's attention today, that caused you that concern, that spidey sense that something's going wrong with what he's telling you? >> nothing i can articulate, no, sir. >> these investigators tried very hard over a period of several days to really get george zimmerman. and at times, aggressively going after him, and yet at the end as you heard mark o'mara question him on the stand, did you believe him?
i think that you would have to probably say the defense is feeling good about where things stand right now. and it would be too much of a gamble to let george zimmerman take the stand. i would not expect it. >> a final question, how much do you think the police who gave evidence today clearly all pretty beneficial really to the defense team's argument? very supportive of the sincerity, credibility of george zimmerman and so on. how much of that could be covered by the fact that they were criticized so widely for not taking action for charging zimmerman on the night of this investigation.
basically, covering their own position? >> well, i mean, it's a legitimate question to ask. they have to have evidence to support any kind of charge. they say the evidence simply did not exist. when you listen to the interviews they did with george zimmerman, particularly the last one, they sort of say, look, none of this would have happened. we wouldn't be here if you had simply approached trayvon martin and identified yourself as a member of the neighborhood watch and said, can i help you with something? but he never did that. and that silence about why george never did do that, still rings quite heavily in the courtroom. >> yes, and if you hadn't gotten out of the vehicle, none of this would have happened either. >> martin savidge, thank you very much. trayvon martin's parents were in the courtroom today, listening to george zimmerman's description of the last moments of their son's life. natalie, welcome back to the show. >> thank you for having me,
piers. >> the general feeling seems to be, it was a good day for the defense, because the police effectively corroborated much of what george zimmerman had told them, and basically said they agreed with him, there is another view that there were certain parts of what came out today, which were very helpful to the prosecution, i want you to highlight those for me, if you can. >> there were. first i'd like to put the statement that it was a good day for the defense. and -- the defense -- detective was asked at each point that he interviewed george zimmerman, did he change his story? he wasn't asked when he looked at all his interviews together, he said he did not have a chance to do that until later. let's talk about some of the inconsistencies. one is that george zimmerman said trayvon circled his car after going through the walkway. circled his car completely. he said that trayvon, as he got out of his car to look for an address.
not to follow trayvon, but to look for an address and give dispatch. that trayvon jumped out of a bush and sucker punched him. then he said, trayvon asked him, well, in another interview, he said, trayvon asked him, you got a problem? he said, no, man, i don't have a problem, as he was looking down to get his phone out of his pocket, he said trayvon hit him. then he said when trayvon was on top of him, you're going to die tonight, mf. then he said when trayvon shot him, trayvon said, you got me. and continued to talk as he proceeded to climb on trayvon's back to check him to see if he had any weapons, so those were the things that i thought stood out to the jury. one of the things that the detective said that was very interesting to the jury, because i was watching them. he said that the injuries that george zimmerman suffered were very minor and they were not consistent with being hit 20 to 30 times.
>> there also is no apparent evidence, and none has emerged so far, that there was any of george zimmerman's dna on trayvon's fists or that they were bruised in anyway. which is sort of what you would expect if he had indeed punched him in the face. >> exactly. >> that was one of the things that i think when you saw the third interview. this is after they've done the walk-through and talked to george zimmerman briefly the first night, you start to see them really questioning his story. george singleton pointed out she didn't see the bush that trayvon jumped out of it. she said trayvon was a tall and skinny kid. where was he hiding? they question him about being hit, about not saying, when con fronted by trayvon, according to him, he said trayvon said what are you following me for? and he said, nothing, and reached into his pocket. they questioned, why didn't you just say, i'm neighborhood watch? and he said that it wasn't his
job. >> yeah, it's all very confusing. the thing i found confusing listening to it this morning was, why he didn't know the street names when there are only three street names in that particular area? he knows that area. why would he feign total lack of knowledge when there's just three street names? >> i think that's very telling, the biggest i think piece of evidence against george zimmerman is his own words to the nonemergency officer, where he said that trayvon -- he goes oh, s he's running, and he gets out of his car. the dispatch asked, are you following him? he said, yes, he said, we don't need you to do that. he said okay. he told detective singleton that he got out of his car to look for an address. that's very inconsistent and self-serving. i think that goes to who confronted, who was the aggressive. >> how do we settle this?
a final question, natalie. having settled this, the problem you have, surely as a prosecutor is that the key witness, the one person that can really, really answer these questions is dead, and that's trayvon. under florida law, if you were just listening to those police testimonies today, you would say that the law of probability now is that they will probably succeed in defending george zimmerman under the way florida law works. unless some new evidence comes to light? >> i will refer you balk to rachel who said she was on the phone when had he heard it, she heard george zimmerman approach trayvon and she said trayvon say get off. i believe that's why the prosecution put her on. if you question her inconsistencies. she had a few inconsistent words. so did all of these witnesses. this is a year and a half later. i think the jury will take all this into consideration. >> always good to talk to you.
good to talk to you. i want to bring in alex fairer. he's the host of television's "judge alex." fascinating day, because as i said earlier, you heard everything from george zimmerman's mouth and he was pretty contemporaneous, recorded on the evening of this attack. what did you make of it in totality? >> i was on your show just the other day, i was telling you how it looked like every day the state was giving information that was beneficial to the defense through their very own witnesses. today is no different. with no disrespect to miss jackson, i know she has her viewpoint on it, i'm looking at it from the standpoint of the judge. it seems like every day in this trial the state calls witnesses, they get a point from the witness, and the defense gets a point or two from the witness, it's like the movie "groundhog day. today was no different. they called the homicide
detectives and the other officer who testified today, to testify about the interviews and the interrogation of george zimmerman, there are inconsistencies in there, there are minimal inconsistencies when you're looking at them from the standpoint of the elements that have to be proven. did he jump out of the bushes or come out of the darkness. did he circle the car completely or not circle the car completely? the prosecution has to prove he acted out of ill will, hate, spite or intent. the question has been asked to many witnesses, including the two police officers today, both of whom said they saw no evidence, no trace of ill will, hatred, spite or intent whatsoever. the homicide detective said, when i learned he was mentoring african-american children, i realized this had nothing to do with profiling, i don't know how it could get worse for the prosecution, to tell you the truth. >> things i picked up, which i felt may be useful to the defense, may be completely irrelevant. the fact that he got out of the
vehicle, there are only three streets, all that kind of stuff really, if i take what you told me the other night, is really immaterial, because what matters is whether they actually got fighting, did george zimmerman genuinely feel for his life? if he did under florida law, he can claim self-defense. >> you are 100% right. should he know the straight names, yes. the reason he didn't know the street names, i believe, just between you and me and the millions who watch you, because he got out of the car to see where trayvon martin went. that does not constitute stalking, it is not illegal. you can walk up to a stranger in your neighborhood and say, what are you going here. the guy can tell you to take a jump off a pier, but it's not illegal. the parts that really -- the thing that the jury is going to focus on is, did he have to shoot? in his mind, was it reasonable for him to believe that he was -- facing death or serious
bodily injury? if they believe that it was reasonable, regardless of what the seriousness of his injuries are, he doesn't have an x-ray machine with him to tell him if his nose is broken or not. if they believe it was reasonable to fear serious body injury, they're going to find him not guilty because of self-defense. >> let's play a clip, this is from the cross-examination of mark o'mara. >> the fact that george zimmerman said to you, thank god, i hope somebody did videotape the event or the whole event. what his statement, what did that indicate to you? >> either he was telling the truth or he was a complete pathological liar. >> you think he was telling the truth? >> yes. >> let me ask you, alex for your reaction. also, the question i asked natalie jackson, which is, is it naive of me to assume that the police would say this kind of
thing primarily because of all the criticism they got after the fact? they didn't charge zimmerman on the night? in other words, this is really corroborating their own positions? >> obviously not the least bit naive, it's a perfect question to ask you, you can say the officers in this case were motivated to make it look like they were making the right decision and decided not to charge. the problem is, if that's what it is, if it's a cover-up, they had all this evidence to present that showed second degree murder and they didn't present, where is that evidence? the prosecution can't produce it, it just doesn't exist, and that clip you just played is crucial. here you have the homicide detective saying, he did what i've done to people before, i used to be a police officer, and you get somebody there, and you think they're lying to you, you make up evidence, your codefendant just confessed and told us he put it all on you, you make up evidence to see if they crack. he made up evidence that said, we think we're going to have video here with all the phones that were here.
and zimmerman said, thank god, i was hoping someone was videotaping what happened to me. and i believed he was telling the truth. i mean, i really don't imagine how it could have gotten worse for the state. >> very tough. >> he's charged with second degree murder, but the jury will be instructed on manslaughter. it's possible the prosecution intended to set high with the hopes the jury will settle for manslaughter. if that happens, the jury convicts manslaughter, zimmerman is as don as he would have been for second degree murder. it's 30 years in prison maximum. >> fascinating, judge alex, thank you very much indeed. the star witness in this case, could she be called back to then sad? i'll speak to her lawyer after the break. to angie's list first. with angie's list, i know who to call,
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joining me. do you think she will be called back? >> absolutely not. i think this was just a tactic by the defense to keep her from speaking with the press once she finished testifying in court last thursday. >> what do you think about the reaction to her testimony? particularly the charge that lays itself at your door that she was somehow underprepared or underrehearsed? >> well, as you know, you and i spoke, i became rachel's lawyer last week, that was by request of some individuals that attend church with her, that are former law enforcement officers that believed that she was not really prepared to go to sanford and testify in the case, she had no clue as to what was getting ready to take place. it's the prosecution's job to prepare the witness, it was not my job to prepare the witness. i do not know the theory the prosecution is operating under.
it was my job to try to explain to her what the dynamics of the courtroom were going to be. she didn't understand there was going to be this good cop/bad cop against the lawyers. i tried to get her to understand that this is what's going to happen. you're going to have the prosecution ask you questions and usually they go over the questions and answers with the witness to make sure that they understand what they're going to ask them. however, when it comes to the defense, they do not know what the defense is going to ask. they usually try to play the devil's advocate and ask the questions. in this particular case, trying to decide what questions don west was going to ask, was pretty hard for the prosecution. this is a witness that should have been on the stand for no more than an hour. she ended up being on the stand for five and a half hours over the span of two days. >> my gut feeling after watching much of it in realtime as it
happened, although she was quite aggressive at times, responding to mr. westin that way, and he didn't want to be there, there was a real authenticity to the evidence she was given, that i found very believable. that was just me watching as a viewer. >> well, you're absolutely right, her testimony was completely unrehearsed and it was obvious that it was unrehearsed, the demeanor that she had in the courtroom was the result of a confrontation that she had with mr. west at the prior depositions of the two days she sat down with him when he tried to brow beat her then. she tried to maintain her composure. and mr. west did what he did in the depositions, he attacked her and put her on the defense. now, she's a 19-year-old young lady from the inner city and had no experience in the courtroom whatsoever, she's not trained to be a witness. it took a lot of courage for her to come out of herschel to be a witness. she tried to avoid being in the limelight at all costs. she first told her mother she
had information, her mother wanted her to speak down and speak with mr. crum. she said, no, she didn't want to speak to him. she didn't want to reveal her real name, she didn't want the media to get ahold of that. she told them she was 16 years old, because she didn't want the media get ahold of her name. she tried to avoid being a witness in this particular case. once she was placed under subpoena, she came into the courtroom and she testified, she's been attacked, in the court of public opinion because of the way she looks. the fact that she speaks english not as well as some would expect her to speak, even though that is her third language. and they tried to make her look like she was stupid, and she doesn't know what she's talking about. i think she defended herself very well. >> this one line about the creepy -- when you heard her say
that, did you think it was a mistake, it was a racist comment or a very offensive comment? >> well, unfortunately, that is the vernacular of young teenagers these days. one of the things i find troubling. we go back and talk about inconsistencies and statements made by witnesses. when i looked at the videotape of mr. zimmerman talking about what trayvon martin supposedly said to him, when he said something, i'm going to kill you, home my. that is so ten years ago, that i knew right then and there that could not possibly have come out of trayvon martin's mouth. that's not the vernacular used by these young teenagers today. i have a problem with some of the testimony i hear coming out now. and when you really want to talk about some of the inconsistencies, look at the videotape of mr. zimmerman, when he's talking about what took place out in the alley. there's no way possible he would
have been able to say, you got me, throw his hands up, sit up there for a minute until zimmerman is able to knock him over to the side, mount him and according to mr. zimmerman, he said he straddles trayvon and stretches his hands from left to right. he pulls his hands out away from his body. when the body is found, his hands were tucked up under him. how does that happen? you want to talk about inconsistencies, go back and look at the videotape of mr. zimmerman, when he's giving the statement to law enforcement about what took place. when folks say, this was a victory for the defense, i doubt it, and i differ. >> thank you for joining me. >> my pleasure. let's bring in gloria allred, jose baez, who represented casey anthony,
welcome to both of you. gloria, your reaction to what rob vereen was saying? >> most fascinating to me, he was only hired last week. i don't know how much time he spent with her. apparently he believes that really it is the job of the district attorney to coach or prepare the witness. i think that she would have benefited if he had been retained prior to her deposition. because once she gives her deposition under oath, then she's locked in to what she said, unless, of course, she corrects it afterwards, which she has an opportunity to do. she's going to be cross examined on that. also, he said he did not know what the defense theory of the case was. it would have been helpful to whomever was preparing her, to understand the defense theory of the case. finally, i would say that he does appear to be an advocate for the prosecution and the witness has to understand that
her job is not to be an advocate for the prosecution or to be an advocate for the defense, but to be neutral, to tell the truth as she recollects it, as it happened and not to try to advocate for one side or the other. >> gloria, stay with me. jose, we'll come to you after the break. should george zimmerman take the stand? would it now help or hurt him? particularly after today's stunning testimony?
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no, help me, i need help. >> george zimmerman, his own dramatic words, describing his confrontation with trayvon martin. back with me now, gloria allred and jose baez. you're involved a little bit with detective sorino. how did you think his testimony went down today? >> he's a straight shooter, he's going to tell it like it is, no matter who it helps. that's why a lot of people are saying, this is a good day for the defense. >> isn't he also going to confirm really why he and his colleagues took the actions they did on that night? in the sense that there was a lot of outrage there had been no charges against george
zimmerman. they both come out today and give extensive testimony, saying, yes, we found him credible, consistent and so on, that lends to why they didn't do anything? >> i would disagree. if you look at the situation, they're not the ones that make the charging decision. that would be the state attorney's job. they had spoken with the state attorney previously who rejected to do a direct file. before they would make a decision on the case, the case was taken away and moved to jacksonville. if detective sorino had not done what he had done, we wouldn't have all these statements. the jury can see him at the scene and take him through the evidence piece by piece, and all this evidence that the prosecution is using. they wouldn't have it if not for the cooler heads of detective sorino and company. listen to what one witness had
to say about the religious aspect of this. >> i remember being in the room with him and i had a silver cross on. i had a v-neck shirt and you could see the cross. he asked me if i was catholic, when i asked him why, he said he noticed the cross. i said, no, i'm christian, why does it matter? he said, because in catholic religion it's always wrong to kill someone. i said if what you're telling me happened is true, i don't think that's what god mint, he didn't mean you couldn't save your own life. that's extraordinary testimony, saying it's all fine because it's god's will. >> i don't interpret what george zimmerman said that way. he's indicating that he feels some pang that perhaps it was wrong that he killed even though, of course, his position
is he did it in self-defense. she then is actually helpful to him by suggesting that god would understand, essentially if you did it in some circumstances. >> that was the theme of two detective who gave extensive testimony today, very supportive. he was always cam am in his demeanor, that's effectively why we recommend charges and why we believe he acted in self-defense. powerful weapons for the defense. >> very powerful. and in addition, some of the law enforcement personnel were very assertive with him, very aggressive. they were trying to pin him down and now he's probably not going to have to testify, because there's a video re-enactment. there's the audio, there's the video also of him speaking to a law enforcement officer.
he's also laying out his defense through the prosecution witnesses saying, for example, that trayvon martin said, you're going to die tonight. and so establishing a reasonable belief of imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury, great harm. and that's what he's got to show. and then the prosecution is going to have to show that he was not in a reasonable belief of imminent danger of death or great bodily harm, it's interesting that his defense is being laid out through these law enforcement prosecution witnesses. >> jose baez, it would be highly unlikely that he will give evidence to george zimmerman, as i keep saying, regardless of what anyone thinking of this case, the reality is, probably the key witness trayvon martin is dead, without that, you're left with george zimmerman's version of events. >> well, there's no reason to put him on. all of his statements are
already in, and you have him on video making these statements, and the whole walk-through. there's more that he's done through these statements to make his case that he could ever do on the stand. bear in mind one critical fact. the decision is not the lawyer's decision to put him on, it's going to be george zimmerman's decision. this is the same person that wild horses couldn't drag away from the police, would make statement after statement after statement, he went on tv and gave an interview. this is a person who wants to be heard and wants to tell his story. he may actually make that decision. but i certainly wouldn't advise him. >> my guess is, that he feels probably at this point that his defense lawyers are doing such a good job for him, that now he will may attention to their advice and their advice most likely is, don't take the witness stand. >> gloria, thank you both very much indeed. when we come back, the wildfire that killed 19 hero wildfires is burning tonight in arizona. the tragedy is unbearable. i'll talk to jan brewer next.
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this is heartbreaking. and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the brave firefighters who were out there. >> president obama paying tribute to 19 hero firefighters who died on sunday in arizona. massive wildfire that killed them still burning out of control right now. the deadliest effect for firefighters since 9/11. 200 homes have been destroyed. right now, hundreds of firefighters have put their lives on the line again, trying to bring the blaze under some kind of control.
jan brewer joins me live from phoenix, thank you so much for joining me. please accept my deepest condolences to you and everyone in arizona on this devastating tragedy. >> thank you, it is very much appreciated. i'm sure from everyone that's watching, but certainly from everybody in arizona. we've had a terrible, terrible tragic day in arizona. it's painful. >> these men were some of the bravest firefighters and most highlight trained in america. do you know yet what happened here to cause such a calamitous loss of life? >> we don't actually know, there's going to be an intense investigation taking place, we assume the fire burned up, and then because of the thunderstorms and the wind, it turned on them, and then there was no way for them to leave the area in which they were in. in other words, their exit area was now on fire, so there was
nowhere for them to go, they sheltered down, putting the shelter over them, and holding it down with their hands and feet and hoping the fire would blow across them, and it did not. it was not successful at this time, these were experienced, well trained courageous boys that knew what they were doing, but it just didn't help them today. you know, they were out there defending neighbors and friends and family. they're all from the prescott area. lots of people in that community knew them personally, so today when we were up there, it was very bitter. piers, it's heartbreaking to think that the normal age of these young men were -- i think they said 22 years old, just starting life. and yet they had that courage, they're truly heroes, they travelled across the country to other places, and then this have them lose their lives in this
terrible day, this terrible tragedy, in their own backyard, just unbelievable. unbelievable. >> i've seen how profoundly it affected you. in all your time as governor, have you had to deal with anything that hit you quite as hard as this in the state? >> no, i don't believe so. we've had many challenges in arizona, terrible things that have happened, but there is certainly something to be said that 19 people are out there trying to protect people, and then to be caught in a fury of flames and not being able to get out and dying, it's just -- every time i think of it, i know how painful it is for me to think about it, i can't imagine how painful it must be for their family and the people that knew them.
it just -- i said earlier today, it's just almost unbearable. i don't know if that's the mother in me or the governor in me, or just the humanity in me. but it's just terrible. just terrible. 19 young men giving their lives. >> just a horrendous thing. governor, i really appreciate you taking time. it's obviously a busy day for you, to come on the show and speak to me. i want to bring in wade ward, a spokesman for the prescott area fire department. close friend of chris mackenzie, he joins me by phone. wade ward obviously as the governor said there, quite appalling and devastating tragedy has be fallen the area today. and these firemen, these hotshots to lose so many in one incident like this, a terrible blow for you? >> yeah, it's an absolutely horrible situation, tragic for all of us.
>> in terms of the investigation into what happened, do you have any more insight into how they found themselves in an awful situation? >> no, at this point the fire is still under investigation. unfortunately, now we have three incidents in our hands, we're dealing with an active fire that's still growing. and we have an incident within the incident and we're trying to deal with the investigation of how this happened. and we're dealing with our families here at home, so this is compounded for us, and it's a very tragic situation. >> how much does this fire -- the scale and power of it, is it exacerbated, temperatures could go as high as 102 degrees. is that making it a lot worse than a fire like this normally would be at this time of year? >> yeah, the temperatures in prescott are reaching 102
degrees down in the valley where yarnell is. i don't know exactly the temperatures, but they get into the 105 to 110 degrees. and i can't speak exactly as to how this happened, because we don't know at this point, i can tell you when you got hot dry conditions and hot flashy fields like we were fighting the fire down there there's a lot that can happen. >> i'm so sorry for all of you down there connected with these heroes. it's an awful, awful thing to have happened. and you have our deepest condolences. >> thank you very much. >> now i want to speak to dave brown, one of his friends chris mackenzie was one of the elite hotshots that lost his life. dave, you must be devastated by what's happening?
>> absolutely. i mean, i've lost a brother, and it's unreal. it's unbelievable and we're all in shock. and when something like this comes up, you're never prepared to get that call. >> you were a childhood friend of chris's, you were a former roommate of his, and you and he were firefighters together in your hometown of hemet, in california. tell me about him, what kind of match was he? >> he was the best kind. outgoing. his father was a fire captain. i think he really enjoyed falling in his father's footsteps and making his dad proud. he loved the outdoors.
he loved being active. in the offseasons, he was an avid snowboarder. all around great guy, one of the best friends you could ever hope for. it's just such a terrible loss. and i just left from his mother's house. and everyone's just -- it's hard to handle this. >> these men were known as the hotshots. they were the best of the best firefighters that america has. do you have any inkling yourself as to how so many of them have lost their lives in this situation? >> that's not something that i could really comment on. i'm just as in the dark as everyone else. i mean, being a former firefighter myself, you know, the training you go through is incredible, and for this to happen, and for an entire crew
to be taken from us, it blows my mind. i can't even imagine what could have went wrong. because this -- it's unbelievable. >> absolutely terrible. i'm so grateful to you for calling in, and i'm so sorry for your loss and the loss of everyone who had any connection either friends or family of these 19 heroes, thank you for joining me. >> thank you. >> such an awful story. coming up, death in vegas, a cirque du soleil acrobat forced to her death in front of an audience. nik wallenda tells me what it's like to risk your life on the highwire. i think farmers care more about the land than probably anyone else. we've had this farm for 30 years. we raise black and red angus cattle. we also produce natural gas. that's how we make our living and that's how we can pass the land and water back to future generations. people should make up their own mind what's best for them.
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good evening. welcome once again to ac 360 special report, self-defense or murder. every night, all the key moments from court today. today day six, jurors heard the defendant's recorded version of what happened the night he killed trayvon martin and heard from two police officers including the lead investigator. the prosecutor seeking to highlights inconsistencies in zimmerman's story and bolstered their claim that he profiled martin from the moment he spotted him. another very full hour. we begin with martin savidge. >> and sanford police officer doris singleton was the first to interview zimmerman and he said he seemed surprised to learn the